To save you all that time it would take to read it, I encapsulated the first two salvos in Chris Mooney Versus P.Z. Myers And The State Of "Unscientific America" but now I'll just include my thoughts on the latest installments. I got no dog in this fight but it's the kind of train wreck I can't look away from.
Basically, they're still at it. In Part III Mooney and Kirshenbaum unleash a grenade that is the worst kept secret in science blogging but won't get them invited to any Seed media "Sciblings" reunion parties:
Though we have not said so until now, Myers is among the central reasons we left ScienceBlogs.Discover is a better fit for more serious writers, it is true, but PZ is not Scienceblogs. There are something like a hundred of them by now. Claiming one guy makes you crazy enough to leave seems like it's more of a 'heat of the moment' statement than fact. Plus, don't Scienceblogs people always claim to be 'The Borg' of science blogging? Mooney didn't escape unless they let him, if that is true. Maybe he's a double agent infiltrating Discover and he doesn't know it and they will say a secret word and he'll wreck their site by doing something crazy like going to war with ... PZ Myers. Hmmmmm.
For too long, people in the science blogosphere have tiptoed around Myers. After all, he can send a lot of angry commenters your way. And he, and they, are unrelenting in their criticisms, their attacks, and so on. Just read our threads over the last week–it’s all there, the vast majority from people who have not read our book and do not seem inclined to do so.We've had our gripes with him but I don't think he wields the kind of power ... or malice ... they think he does. I've never met him but I am told he is a pretty good guy. That doesn't mean he won't get proactively vindictive if it strikes him; he and they may also be vaguely paranoid. He once promoted a rumor that we were some sort of conservative response site to Scienceblogs but it didn't cost us a single reader (or gain any, I was kind of hoping the RNC or National Review would show us some love but they never did) and he wasn't alone. On their internal forum (the place where they discuss what they really think) all of Scienceblogs was on our case in February of 2007 - for claiming to care about science community they say some pretty vicious things if they think you will cost them some money. But we still have a million readers and so does Discover. I assume there isn't a lot of overlap in audience. Mooney and Kirshenbaum aren't going to lose any readers in this board war. All publicity is good publicity so maybe they will even benefit.
Granted, small independent bloggers who hope for a 'Pharyngulanche' have to play by the rules - and Scienceblogs is the place to be if just blogging is your thing - but diplomacy is necessary in any facet of business, and for both Discover magazine and Seed magazine, blogging is serious business. So making friends with the big guy makes sense.
I had to chuckle that they felt a need to display their atheist credentials. Science blogging can be a weird place.
PZ is not done either. He didn't really address anything other than to label Part III "a flaccid blubbery bit of self-pity", which was a nice turn of phrase, but for his minions, that's all that needs to be said. Has anyone else noticed he uses the term 'scatalogical' a lot? What do you think that means?